I don’t think you’ll ever have a perfect world because we humans are prone to error, and so we’re always in search of an upgrade.—Henry Rollins
I don’t talk about cameras and all their different brands and features that much because I’m just not a gearhead in that sense. As long as my camera is taking good pictures, and I can take the pictures I want to take, I’m happy. Neither the name on the front nor the age of the box make all that much difference. As a result, I’m shooting with an eight-year-old body from a brand that wasn’t taken seriously when I bought it. I worry about its longevity more than the quality of its pictures.
Nonetheless, the whole world, literally, seems to be in an uproar over yesterday’s announcement of Canon’s new EOS-1D X MarkII camera. It’s new. It’s shiny. It does 4K video (kind of). It has a functioning IOS range of 409600 in case you really like taking pictures in the closet. It’s fast, up to 16 frames per second in bursts of up to 120 frames in RAW (provided you’re using the right battery and a CFast card). Whee. Yay. Yawn.
At a price of $6,000 for just the body, I expect more from this upgrade. I expect more than 20 megapixels. A comparable Nikon does 20.8, and Canon’s own 5D series does 50. Sony gets more from its full-frame mirrorless box. Sure, the dual pixel technology sounds nice, but it doesn’t deliver an improved photo quality and without that what’s the point? And that 4K video talk? That’s input. The camera cannot output 4K HDMI so, again, what’s the point? Oh, and has anyone mentioned that there are NO pro-level, weather sealed lenses for this new box? None. Zero. In fact, there’s only ONE full-frame piece of glass for it, a 24-105mm f3.5-5.6. Sure, we would like to expect that to change over time, but why buy a new box and then have to sit around waiting for new glass before you can use the damn thing? Are we really bothering to call this an upgrade?
While my first SLR was a Canon, and I shot with Canon boxes for years, I’ve been extremely disappointed in the direction of their pro-level cameras the past five years as they’ve put more effort into video and less into taking a better picture. I’m finding myself more impressed with brands like Sony and Olympus, whose new mirrorless cameras are not only ergonomically easier on my arthritic hands, but provide the necessary range of pro-level glass I need to take a good picture, and they do so with sensors as good or better than what Canon and Nikon are slapping in their boxes.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, the name on the front of the box means diddlysquat if it can’t take a good picture. Brand wars at this stage of the game are pure marking nonsense. What matters is the quality of the images and, sadly, this new Canon upgrade is not an improvement. There are too many options on the market now that produce images as good, if not better, and at a substantially lower price tag. Sorry, Canon, but you let me down on this one.